Trainer Greg Ennion was confident that his quirky, but talented speedball, Elusive Trader would retain his Southeaster Sprint crown at Kenilworth over the unusual 1100m distance. The Elusive Fort gelding, who does best when conserved for a late dart, duly blitzed past front runner Constable to score at odds of around 5/1. He was ridden with aplomb by master jockey, Anton Marcus.
Marcus does his pre- race research with great attention to detail and even though he had not sat on the horse before, knew how best to ride him. He thanked experienced conditioner, Ennion afterwards for teeing up the opportunity, and confirming optimal tactics. The race, into an appropriately brisk S/E headwind, turned out ideally for Elusive Trader, who recorded his fourth victory from 28 starts and has now raked in stakes of R1.5 million. The best jockeys make potentially awkward strategies look straight-forward – Marcus explained simply afterwards, “They went a reasonable pace, and he came on for a courageous win.”
Ennion was justifiably satisfied as his charge has battled with soundness issues and is not the easiest customer to keep in one piece as a result. His hold- up style of running has also lead to a number of tough beats, hence the relatively low win rate. Ennion said, “This 1100m trip is perfect. He has a turn of foot as good as any sprinter in South Africa. We will go for the Cape Flying Championships next.”
Pace-presser, Constable was game in second, building on a sterling run to Erik the Red in the Merchants. The trifecta slot was up for grabs till the last jump – top weight Cartel Captain just edging out Captain Tatters by a lip, with feisty grey, Worlds Your Oyster just off these placed horses.
Justin Snaith has his string in sparkling fettle and continues to crank out winner after winner, saddling four on the day. He was in the No 1 box with Crown Diamond, Taking Silk, La Quinta and Gertrude Bell. In contrast Dennis Drier, usually a perennial threat when in the Cape during Summer has endured a lean spell by his high standards, but, the veteran horseman rectified that lull when heavily punted favourite, Hail Columbia swept past rivals in the last to provide Drier with his first winner of the Cape season.
Cape Racing press release.